Samuel Perkins Pick FRIBA (1859-1919)
Samuel Perkins Pick was born on 7 May 1859 in Kettering. He was baptised on 19 June 1859 at St Peter and St Paul's church in Kettering.
He was the fourth of five sons of George Thomas Pick (1827-1862), a veterinary surgeon in Kettering, and Jane Elizabeth Pick nee Beadman (1831-1909).
His father came from Market Harborough and his mother from Fleckney. Jane's brother, John, was a farmer in Rushton and keeper of the Thornhill Arms in Station Road in that village. Samuel married John's daughter, Barbara.
In 1862 at the age of 34 years, Samuel's father died of a pulmonary apoplexy, leaving his wife to bring up their five sons who were all under the age of eight years.
By February 1866, Jane and her boys had moved to Great Glen where her younger brother Samuel and their widowed mother were living. It seems that the Beadman family were able and willing to support Jane and her sons. By October of that year, Samuel Beadman had transferred the licence of the Greyhound Inn to her, which he had held since 1863.
In the 1871 census, Samuel Perkins Pick is recorded as a scholar and was living with his mother and brothers in Great Glen at 2 Leicester Road (presumably the Greyhound).
In 1878, Samuel's mother moved to Market Harborough and obained the licence of the Freemason's Arms in St Mary's Road. She later became the licensee of the Peacock Hotel.
On 25 June 1882, Samuel married his cousin, Barbara Beadman, at Rushton. She was the daughter of his uncle, John Beadman of Rushden. They had three children, Barbara Beadman Pick (1885 - 1941), Annie Ivens Pick (1887-1911) and Hugh Spencer Pick (1896-1937).
Samuel died on 22 May 1919 just after his 60th birthday and was buried at Welford Road cemetery in Leicester.
The will of Barbara Beadman Pick made on 25 Sept 1939 and proved on 4 Sept 1941 has the following provision:
'I bequeath to the treasurer for the time being of the Leicester Royal Infirmary (incorporated by charter) the sum of one thousand pounds for the perpetual endowment of a bed to the memory of my father Samuel Perkins Pick in the said Leicester Royal Infirmary.'
Art and architecture
Samuel was introduced to art by two oustanding Leicestershire artists, Harry Ward and John Fulleylove RI. For several years the three travelled together on many excursions across England painting rural landscapes, and making architectural drawings of historic buildings.
Pick also came under the influence of William Morris and the pioneers of what later became the Arts and Crafts Movement. Soon, his architectural sketches and articles were being published in journals such as The Builder.
He provided the illustrations for Rockingham Castle and the Watsons by George Wise, published in 1891.
'To his smallest as well as to large undertakings he gave the same pains and attention : whether he was engaged in designing a large building or a mural tablet, he was bent upon doing his best.'
A. Hamilton Thompson (1921).
Samuel Perkins Pick studied architecture at the Leicester School of Art. He enrolled in 1875. Later in his career he designed the Hawthorn Building in the Newarke as the school's new headquarters, by which time he was an assistant teacher at the school.
His reputation as a young man was such that before his thirtieth birthday, he entered into partnership with the distinguished Leicester architect John Breedon Everard. When Everard retired, Samuel became the head of the firm of Pick, Everard and Keay.
Samuel Pick spent most of his life in
Leicester, and, although his reputation extended beyond the area, he is more
associated with the promotion of architecture and artistic education in the
In 1884, when he was awarded a medal by the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers, he was described as an architectural apprentice of John Breedon Everard of Leicester and assistant teacher at the Leicester School of Art. In 1918, about a year before his death, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Samuel attended Kibworth Grammar School. At the time, there were relatively few pupils at the school. Records for 1907 indicate just forty children were on the register.
The Art Master at the school was Thomas Barfield. He was the son of Samuel Barfield, the mason who carved the four statues supporting Leicester's clocktower in 1868. Samuel Barfield lived at 5 Church Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, known locally as 5 The Villas, and ran a significant business employing 32 men and six apprentices.
Coincidentally, Originally called Beauchamp Cottages, the Villas were designed and built by John Mason, one of Kibworth's most celebrated builders. With his family, the Masons became a local building 'dynasty'. John Mason and his immediate family lived at No 11 and his son, Edward Woodford Mason, also a builder, lived at No 10. The inheritors of Edward's estate gave the Smeeton Road recreation ground land to the village.
Thomas Barfield became the first Honorary Secretary of the Leicester Society of Artists, and it was Samuel Perkins Pick, by then an architect in his own right, who chaired the inaugural meeting at Thomas Barfield's studio in Victoria Chambers, Gallowtree Gate on 28 December 1880.
His architectural Legacy
The County Mental Hospital (later known as Carlton Hayes Hospital) at Narborough (1904-07).
Extensions to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic Asylum (now the Fielding Johnson Building of the University of Leicester),
The Borough Mental Hospital (The Towers Hospital).
Leicester's Technical and Art schools (now the Hawthorn Building of De Montfort University).
The Midlands Agricultural and Dairy College (1895; today the University of Nottingham's Sutton Bonington Campus) at Kingston on Soar, Nottinghamshire.
Extensions to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester.
Major extensions to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.
Major extensions to the Coppice Mental Hospital, Nottingham.
St Michael and All Angels Church, Knighton, Leicester (1897-98) (Demolished)
St Philip's Church, Evington Road, Leicester.
The War Memorial, Quorn. (1921).
The Hawthorn Building, The Newarke, Leicester
'Mr. Pick's work as an architect was marked by a strong individuality, guided by practical common-sense. With him, the first object of a building was to fulfil the purpose for which it was intended. With wastefulness and pretentiousness, and with the sacrifice of plan to a would-be striking elevation, he'had no sympathy.
Those whose daily work lies in his buildings bear warm testimony to the practical convenience of their arrangement. Mr. Benjamin Fletcher, the headmaster of the School of Art, calls attention to the qualities of excellent lighting and disposition of rooms which make it a very easy building to work in and manage, and to the combination of simplicity of plan with provision for the most complex requirements and for future development.
At the same time general effect was not overlooked, and the building has a large spaciousness which is not so much a matter of actual size as a result of the architect's individual spirit manifested in his work.'
A. Hamilton Thompson (1919).
'A striking instance (of Pick's craftsmanship) in a quite different style, is the front of the Marquis Wellington inn in London Road, an object-lesson of the resourceful invention which plays freely with its models and creates from them something new.
A. Hamilton Thompson (1919).
'His bank in Leicester, which shows his powers of design at their best, bears testimony to his assimilation of developed Renaissance architecture and to his power of expressing its principles in terms of his own. This originality of accent marks all he did.'
A. Hamilton Thompson (1919).
Artistic Influences - Harry Ward and John Fulleylove R.I
Several biographical sources state that 'whilst at school' or 'whilst being educated', Samuel was introduced to Leicestershire topographical artists Harry Ward and John Fullylove RI, and that they travelled together widely, gaining a broader understanding of architectural styles.
Relatively little is known about Harry Ward. He was born in Smeeton Westerby, which is just one field distant from Kibworth, and until the age of fiteeen, attended a private school in that village run by a Mr Buzzard.
A family by the name of Ward were licensees of the King's Head pub in the village but it is not confirmed that Harry was from that family.
Harry was apprenticed to R & J Kemp, a firm of Leicester drapers who ran a shop near the White Swan Inn in Leicester's Market Place. He left to pursue his ambition to become a full-time artist, supported by his parents who by then had moved to Leicester.
It seems that Harry Ward died at an early age before his work gained the respect it deserved.
Sources, references & acknowledgements
Leicester Literary & Philisophical Society. (Brief biographies of past presidents). Website accessed 30/09/20.
Pick Everard Ltd. Website accessed 30/09/20.
Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society (Vol 13, 1919, pp 401-405). Obituary of Samuel Perkins Pick by A.Hamilton Thompson.
Kibworth History Society website. Accessed 03/10/20.
KIbworth Villages website. Accessed 05/10/20.
Smeeton Westerby Parish Council website. Accessed 05/10/20.